Saturday, January 21, 2017

Week in Review - W/E -1/21/2017

It's been a decent week weather-wise here in New England, most days it reached the 40's which is great for this time of year.  Although I made it to yoga 3x again this week, I haven't been walking or doing cardio exercise. Our fitness center closed its doors at the end of December and since I took a fall on black ice a few weeks ago, I'm not crazy about walking outdoors right now.

My reading has slowed since last year, I normally read or listen to (3) books a week but, this year I'm reading about 1-2/per week max. I need to get back to audios as I haven't listened to any in 2017, although yesterday, I picked up (2) when I visited a new library in a few towns over.

This week I finished, The Leisure Seeker; Michael Zadoorian and really enjoyed it: it's funny, tender and sad all in one.  I'm also reading, The Marriage of Opposites, Alice Hoffman, for my book group meeting next week. It started off great but, now 1/2 way through I seem to be losing interest (we shall see).

The Leisure Seeker; Michael Zadoorian
William Morrow - 2009
(soon to be a movie)

One

MICHIGAN

"We are tourists.

I've recently come to terms with this.  My husband and I were never the kind who traveled to expand our minds. We traveled to have fun--Weeki Wachee, Gatlinburg, South of the Border, Lake George, Rock City, Wall Drug.  We have seen swimming pigs and horses, a Russian Palace covered with corn, young girls underwater drinking Pepsi-Cola from the seven-ounce bottle, London Bridge in the middle of a desert, a cycling cockatoo riding a tightrope."

(MY THOUGHTS) - John and Ella are a sweet senior couple who have been married 60 years and have enjoyed traveling in their RV "The Leisure Seeker" much of their married lives.  Both Ella and John have health issues and against their children's wishes they decide to embark on one final RV journey from Michigan to Disneyland in CA.  

A fantastic story, sometimes funny, sometimes tender, sometimes sad. John and Ella are terrific characters that felt like family by the time I finished the book.  This book is well written and immediately hooked me.  I saw the ending coming but, that did not spoil my enjoyment in the least.  The Leisure Seeker is a book that addresses the issues many of us try to avoid as we age or see our parents age. (5/5 stars)

Current Reads -



We went to see Manchester By the Sea this week and wow, did this movie move me.  Such a sad but realistic story about how our lives can change us forever in the blink of an eye.

Lee (Casey Affleck) is a handyman at an apartment complex who returns home to "Manchester-By-the Sea, a quaint seaside town, when he learns that his brother has had a heart attack and soon after passes away, leaving behind a high school aged son.  Through a series of flashbacks, we learn why Lee's return to Manchester By the Sea is so difficult for him. He's forced to relive a tragedy from his past in addition to dealing with the final arrangements for his brother.  The acting is wonderful and I can't stop thinking about the movie even though the ending was a bit disappointing (abrupt). I'm hoping this one will win some awards.  (BE SURE TO SEE IT)

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Have a Good Weekend Everyone

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - The Leisure Seeker; Michael Zadoorian



Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros sharing the first paragraph, maybe two, of a book that I'm reading or plan to read soon.  

This week's book has been on my shelf since 2009. It's a soon to be a movie (2017) starring Donald Sutherland and Helen Mirren. The story is about an elderly couple seeking one last adventure.


The Leisure Seeker; Michael Zadoorian
William Morrow - 2009

One

MICHIGAN

"We are tourists.

I've recently come to terms with this.  My husband and I were never the kind who traveled to expand our minds. We traveled to have fun--Weeki Wachee, Gatlinburg, South of the Border, Lake George, Rock City, Wall Drug.  We have seen swimming pigs and horses, a Russian Palace covered with corn, young girls underwater drinking Pepsi-Cola from the seven-ounce bottle, London Bridge in the middle of a desert, a cycling cockatoo riding a tightrope."

Based on this intro, would you read more or pass on this book?

Feel free to join in by posting your own First Chapter First Paragraph Intro and linking below.





Saturday, January 14, 2017

Week in Review - W/E - 1/14/2017

This has been a somewhat lazy week for me and, I only read (1) book but, it was a good one.  I did watch (2) movies : Love the Coopers (2015), Diane Keaton, John Goodman and Steve Martin but, although parts were fun, I didn't love it .  I also watched, Postcards From the Edge (1990): Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine which I'd seen before and enjoyed.  We also O.D'd on Sopranos episodes, Season 3.  

I did get out to yoga class 3x and, I also caught up with (2) high school friends for lunch - always fun to catch up and chat about past and present.

Book Read

On Turpentine Lane; Elinor Lipman
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - 2017

1.
What Possessed Me?

"IF I HADN'T BEEN NAIVE and recklessly trusting, would I ever have purchased number 10 Turpentine Lane, a chronic headache masquerading as a charming bungalow?  'Best value in town,' said the ad, which was true, if judging by the price tag alone.  I paid almost nothing by today's standards, attributing the bargain to my mother's hunch that the previous owner had succumbed while in residence.  Not so off-putting, I rationalized; don't most people die at home?  On moving day my next-door neighbor brought me a welcome loaf of banana bread along with the truth about my seller. A suicide attempt...sleeping pills...she's saved them up till she had enough, poor thing. And who could blame her? 'Strong as an ox,' she added. 'But a whole bottle?' She tapped the side of her head."

(My Thoughts) I've enjoyed many of Elinor Lipman's earlier novels, The Inn at Lake Devine, was an all time favorite, but, I must say, On Turpentine Lane, runs a close second -- such a fun read.  Our protagonist, Faith Frankel has a so-so job in the Development Department of a private day school that she had attended.  Her boyfriend Stuart, is a loser who has taken advantage of her and is now off on a cross country walk to find himself.  Before leaving he gives Faith a piece of red-string (a symbol of his commitment to her). He also asks for her credit card to help with expenses. Meanwhile, Faith has purchased a rock bottom priced 2-bedroom - 1 - bath, bungalow, "On Turpentine Lane", unaware of the houses history and that the police will soon be knocking on her door.  life is interesting for Faith; she has a charming new office mate named Nick, a meddling mother, a father who is having a mid-life crisis,  a bachelor brother and added to the mix are a few other quirky characters that together make this story shine. Lipman's sharp dialogue and insight into the human psyche made this novel such a treat. (4.5 stars - be sure to try it)

Have a Great Weekend!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - On Turpentine Lane; Elinor LIpman


Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros sharing the first paragraph, maybe two, of a book that I'm reading or plan to read soon.  This week's book is a soon to be released novel by a favorite author: Elinor Lipman.

On Turpentine Lane; Elinor Lipman
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - 2017

1.
What Possessed Me?

"IF I HADN'T BEEN NAIVE and recklessly trusting, would I ever have purchased number 10 Turpentine Lane, a chronic headache masquerading as a charming bungalow?  'Best value in town,' said the ad, which was true, if judging by the price tag alone.  I paid almost nothing by today's standards, attributing the bargain to my mother's hunch that the previous owner had succumbed while in residence.  Not so off-putting, I rationalized; don't most people die at home?  On moving day my next-door neighbor brought me a welcome loaf of banana bread along with the truth about my seller. A suicide attempt...sleeping pills...she's saved them up till she had enough, poor thing. And who could blame her? 'Strong as an ox,' she added. 'But a whole bottle?' She tapped the side of her head."


Based on this intro, would you read more or pass on this book?

Feel free to join in by posting your own First Chapter First Paragraph Intro and linking below.